The Eneloop AA batteries offer two big advantages over rivals: they can be charged and discharged a huge number of times, and they’re built to make their charge last. The flip-side is that capacity is lower than much of the competition. However, if you’re looking for general-purpose batteries to largely replace alkaline units, these are the ones to buy.
- Huge number of charge cycles
- Retain their charge for a long time
- UKRRP: £12.99
- TypeThese are rechargeable AA batteries that use NiMH technology
- CyclesThese batteries can be charged and discharged 2100 times
The Eneloop AA batteries are built to be eco-friendly. Sure, they’re a little more expensive than rival units, and they don’t offer the highest capacities; but they can handle more than 2000 charge cycles and retain charge for a long time. For general-purpose alkaline replacements, they’re a brilliant choice.
Design and Charges
- 2100 charge cycles
- Maintains 70% of power after 10 years
Longevity is one of the main factors to look for in a set of rechargeable batteries, and the Eneloop AA delivers on that front in spades. For starters, the batteries are designed to last for up to 2100 charging cycles. That’s the highest number I’ve seen, even higher than the 1500 cycles of the GP ReCyko Pro AA batteries.
Second, the Eneloop AA are designed to hold power, maintaining 70% charge after 10 years. That makes these units almost as good as alkaline batteries: you can charge them, put them in a cupboard drawer and have them ready to use when you want.
However, their rated capacity of 1900mAh isn’t the best, so you may need to turn to higher-capacity batteries – such as the Duracell Rechargeable AA– for more demanding applications.
- Exceptionally stable capacities in my tests
- Tests just exceed the capacity
I tested the Eneloop AA using an Ansmann Energy XC3000 battery tester. First, I measured voltage, which should start at a minimum of 1.2V. Here, I measured 1.23V, which is just above that limit.
Next, I tested capacity through a high-drain test (600mA +/-20%). Initially, the batteries returned a capacity of 2101mAh, which is slightly above the rated capacity of 1900mAh.
Next, I cycled the batteries 50 times (charging and discharging), taking measurements every 10 cycles. From the graph below, you can see how stable the results were, with the batteries barely fluctuating for levels of power.
Should you buy it?
If you want rechargeable batteries that will last a long time and can hold their charge for that time, the Eneloop AA are a brilliant choice.
If you want cheaper batteries or units that offer higher capacities, consider alternatives instead.
When it comes to rechargeable batteries, if you’re looking for cheaper units with greater capacity, then go for the Duracell Rechargeable AA batteries. For high duty cycles with greater power, the GP ReCyko Pro AA are a great choice. However, for bog-standard battery replacements around the house, the Eneloop AA are a great choice: they can be charged a huge number of times and they maintain their charge for a very long time, too.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every rechargeable battery we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
We use an Ansmann Energy XC 3000 to drain batteries, so that we can test capacity in mAh. After the first run, we charge and discharge 50 times, measuring the capacity every ten runs.
We measure the initial voltage of the batteries, checking that the starting voltage is at least 1.2V.